Monday, October 28, 2013

Tales from the Road: Cherokee, North Carolina

Indian Creek Campground Road photo 20131027_092253_zps8d2e7eb0.jpg

Well, I hardly know where to start with this blog post.  The past couple of days have been a mix of stress & worry, with a few sprinkles of fun thrown in.

Cherokee Indian Reservation photo IMG_20131026_154340_zps70da025c.jpg

First, our drive from Columbia to Cherokee, which should have taken about 5 hours max, ended up being an all day event.  We got a little bit lost, had some mechanical issues (apparently our RV doesn't like going up & down steep mountains for hours on end) and then once we finally got to our campground discovered that it was miles from the town of Cherokee.  Normally we don't mind driving a bit in order to be away from it all, but in this case, I would've preferred not to go 'round and 'round those narrow, winding roads, especially in the dark!

Indian Creek Campground Office photo 20131026_162511_zps8b7d7d78.jpg
Indian Creek Campground office

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Indian Creek Campground site

I was so glad we had a good lunch because by the time we got set up in camp, we were starving and the dining options nearby were limited. I knew this in advance, having searched on Happy Cow, but I was so tired & hungry & stressed, I just wanted a good dinner. Instead, we had mediocre pizza from a chain restaurant, but they were willing to leave the cheese off for me, or so I thought. When my pie arrived, there was a little layer of cheese. *groan* Not wanting to wait another 30 minutes for a new order, I scraped off what I could and made the best of it. We did a bit of shopping, bought a couple of souvenirs, and called it an early night.

Yesterday morning we got up early, had breakfast and went to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.  What an amazing experience!  We were there for about 90 minutes and could have stayed longer, it was so interesting and educational, well worth the $9 entrance fee.

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Cherokee Tribe photo 20131027_103207_zps237d4b05.jpg

Afterward we did some shopping at Qualla Arts & Crafts right across the street. The store is filled with beautiful crafts made by local Indians, I wish I'd had more room in my budget to buy a handwoven basket! Instead we grabbed a few trinkets for my girls and just admired the other treasures.

We didn't visit the casino but did drive by and take a pic..

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Back at camp, we packed up and headed out, had plans to stop in Waynesville to visit some old friends from Ormond Beach, Jon & Olga. They've been living in NC for a few years now and absolutely love it. They have a lovely home and wow, what a view!

Jon & Olga's house photo Jons_zps099cf512.jpg

Chip at Jon's House photo ChipatJons_zpsd4d39eaa.jpg

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long, wanted to get to Asheville before dark. We made it to our campground with no issues, until we pulled in and attempted to unload the car off the dolly. Uh-oh. I don't know how to explain the situation, but somehow we ended up in such a position that the dolly straps were wrapped around the tires and, due to space constraints, Chip couldn't straighten the car out enough to unwrap them..something like that. Adding insult to injury, the campground attendant made sure to tell Chip how he did things wrong, was supposed to take the car off at the entrance..blah..blah...not helpful! I left it up to my engineer hunny to handle and after a few curse words muttered and much effort, he did. Whew! I'll post some pics from the site later, but so far I'm not impressed. While the view is gorgeous, looking out over the mountains and the city lights, the spaces are very close together and we the only thing keeping one from tumbling down the mountain is a little wooden fence. *gulp* Have I mentioned that I'm terrified of heights? We're not on that side of the park but's disconcerting. I much prefer the beautiful state park we visited last year but there was no availability this time, so we're kinda stuck. At this point, we're going to play it by ear but might not be staying the three nights here we'd planned, and paid for. Chip and I will talk about it today, I'm sure, but we might be packing up tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the experience and make the best of the situation! Hopefully the wonders of Asheville will make up for the rotten times we had getting here!

Have a wonderful day,



  1. We're not too far from Cherokee and have been thinking of making the drive (by car) to see the museum. Sounds like it may be worth the trip.

    Your issues are exactly why we are very careful where we go when we get into these mountains. Some roads are absolutely horrible to drive a large rig. We have visited (by car again) some of those Rv parks where you are up on the side of the mountain. I want to be in a valley and looking UP to see the mountains. One CG we considered was on "uphill road".....that made me nervous, so we checked it out by car and decided it was not the kind of CG for us Floridian flatlanders.

    I hope you have better luck for the rest of your trip. If you get down towards Blairsville, GA, come see us.

  2. Karen, boy did we learn the hard way! The challenge for us is that we are planning these trips sight unseen, just using web sites such as RV Park Reviews as a guide. Informative as these are, they don't give you all of the details such as how steep the mountain is, etc! I think I need to consult you next time!